Mayor Kincannon's Proposed Budget Invests in Public Safety, Housing, Infrastructure

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
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(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Mayor Kincannon's Proposed Budget Invests in Public Safety, Housing, Infrastructure

Posted: 04/26/2024
  Mayor Indya Kincannon
  Mayor Kincannon's Proposed Budget Invests in Public Safety, Housing, Great Places and Services
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  View 2024-2025 Proposed Operating Budget [PDF]
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Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon today proposed her $461.6 million net budget with a pledge to see transformational projects through to the finish line.

Mayor Kincannon’s budget emphasizes addressing the priorities set by her and City constituents over the past five years: Enhancing public safety, “being brilliant at the basics,” relieving the acute shortage of housing (especially affordable housing), creating jobs and equitable economic opportunities, and investing in public infrastructure.

The proposed budget is balanced, and the City’s property tax rate remains unchanged at $2.1556 per $100 of assessed value – the lowest tax rate since 1974.

“Knoxville is on a roll,” the Mayor said this morning (Friday, April 26, 2024) in her State of the City Address. “And this budget reflects our commitment to completion.”

Mayor Kincannon touted the continuity in Knoxville’s strong and forward-thinking leadership, telling the crowd of more than 350 gathered at the Tennessee Amphitheater at World’s Fair Park: “Good ideas can take years to realize.”

“Our Urban Wilderness is one example of a unique amenity for our city that has been years in the making,” she said. 

Citing another example: An abandoned hospital was converted into a new Public Safety Complex in North Knoxville, and “having our Police, Fire, E-911 and KEMA headquartered in this repurposed space is already catalyzing new investments in higher education, housing, and retail,” she said.

Construction is almost completed for the Empath Center, which will open this summer and provide acute medical and behavioral health services on the Public Safety Complex campus.

The State of the City gathering was staged at the Tennessee Amphitheater for two reasons: Guests got to see firsthand the preliminary work that’s underway to construct a street-level welcome center at the next-door Sunsphere, a collaboration between multiple partners. But the Mayor also announced funding to design a new canopy over the iconic 1982 World’s Fair Tennessee Amphitheater.

“We’ve cleaned and repaired this structure for 42 years, but the time has come for a new roof,” Mayor Kincannon said.

“This budget includes design funds for a new roof structure. We will make sure this unique architectural gem can remain safe, functional, and a point of pride for the next generation!”

Highlights of the Mayor’s proposed budget include:

Affordable housing

A total of $8 million is proposed by Mayor Kincannon for the Knoxville Affordable Housing Fund.

The Mayor’s 2024-25 budget proposes $4.2 million to the Transforming Western redevelopment project, $2.5 million for the Affordable Rental Development Fund, and $1.1 million for permanent supportive housing.

Kincannon and City Council continue to annually far surpass their commitment of $5 million per year, on average, for 10 years.

“We have invested more in affordable, attainable housing than ever before,” Mayor Kincannon told the State of the City attendees.

Under Kincannon, the City has already invested $40 million for affordable housing, which has leveraged more than $600 million in private investment, creating homes for thousands of Knoxville families.

In addition, $950,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds is being transferred to the City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development Department to support property acquisition for more affordable housing.

Private housing philanthropy

In partnership with the United Way of Greater Knoxville and generous donors in our community, more than $2 million in private dollars will support the City’s affordable housing programs throughout our community, Mayor Kincannon announced.

The new private funding extends the reach of public-private affordable housing initiatives to assist another 200 families and individuals. 

Private donors so far include Phil Lawson and the Lawson Family Foundation, the Haslam Family, Clayton Homes, and Randy Boyd.


Roughly $7 million is proposed for improvements to parks and recreational facilities, including significant investments at Lakeshore Park, Williams Creek Golf Course and World’s Fair Park. 

Funds are designated to continue the development of a new Lonsdale park.

Safe roads

Almost $11.7 million is earmarked for road safety investments – repairs and upgrades to roads, bridges, guardrails, signs and traffic signals.

More than $1.5 million would go to safety features identified in the new Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate fatalities of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists on City streets by 2040.

Another $500,000 is proposed for speed bumps and other traffic-calming devices through the popular Neighborhood Traffic Safety Program.

New Burlington fire station

About $3 million is proposed to begin construction of a modern new Fire Station No. 6 in the heart of Burlington. Another $4 million is committed in Fiscal Year 2025-26. 

The existing 87-year-old station was briefly vacated and required extensive repairs last year; a new station, located just a block away, will be energy efficient, more spacious, and able to accommodate modern firefighting and rescue apparatus.

Recruiting and retaining talented employees

More than $3.9 million is proposed for targeted pay increases for front-line police officers to keep their salaries and benefits competitive with law-enforcement agencies that currently pay better than KPD.

The investment will bring starting pay for new officers to $56,000 and boost pay for experienced officers.

“We already have the hardest-working, best-trained, most professional police officers around, it’s time they get paid the best, too,” Kincannon said. 

Incentive pay is being increased for Fire Department Advanced EMTs and paramedics. The stipends for Advanced EMTs will increase by $1,500 to $3,750 a year; stipends for paramedics will increase by $2,750 to $8,000 a year.

Funding is also set aside for hiring a new class of firefighter recruits.

The budget also funds 2.5 percent salary increases for all general government employees and step-level raises for police officers and firefighters.

Community support

More than $2.7 million is proposed for grants and service contracts to partners and initiatives that promote public safety, such as ChildHelp, the Metro Drug Coalition, Young-Williams Animal Center and Turn Up Knox. Also funded: youth empowerment grants and violence prevention grants.

Almost $2.4 million is committed to Zoo Knoxville – operational support plus capital funding for a new Rhino Habitat exhibit and the Ravine floating boardwalk.

Dozens of arts and culture non-profit organizations would be supported with $648,500 in grants by the Mayor’s proposed budget.

Community Agency Grants – totaling more than $1.5 million – are funded. Many non-profit partners receiving support, such as the McNabb Center and the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, provide mental health and other health services, while others, such as Girl Talk, Emerald Youth Foundation, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and 100 Black Men, provide enriching youth-serving programs.

In addition, $310,000 is earmarked in opioid remediation funds to groups such as Positively Living, Volunteer Ministry Center and the Florence Crittenton Agency. This is a new source of funding generated from various class-action lawsuit settlements with pharmaceutical companies.

Job creation

Almost $3 million supports the City’s key economic development partners, including the Knoxville Chamber, Visit Knoxville, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, and Centro Hispano.

The proposed net budget totals $461.6 million. Of that, the General Fund – the City’s main operating fund – is $338 million.

Mayor Kincannon’s proposed budget will be presented to City Council for first reading on April 30, 2024, followed by a legislative budget hearing and public hearing on May 16. Council's second reading of the budget currently is scheduled for May 28.

To read Mayor Kincannon’s State of the City Address and supporting budget documents, visit